Betts brings end to Wigan career

FORMER Great Britain international Denis Betts has quit his role as assistant to Wigan head coach Ian Millward, bringing to an end a 19-year association with the famous club.The 36-year-old, who had two years left on his contract, resigned from his post just six months after being demoted from head coach and a fortnight after apparently refusing to coach the club's under-21 team.A brief statement issued by Wigan said: "Denis Betts, who has been the assistant coach to Ian Millward, has resigned from his position and left the club with immediate effect. The club feel unable to comment at this stage."Betts' future at the JJB Stadium was cast into doubt when the club issued a press release earlier this month claiming that he had refused to take charge of their academy team following the return to Australia of Adrian Lam.That job was instead undertaken by Millward's other assistant, fellow Australian Andrew Farrar, with Betts cast further into the wilderness.Betts, one of Wigan's modern greats, tonight confirmed that he had resigned but said: "I can't comment at this stage. It will all come out in the fullness of time."The second row forward joined Wigan from Leigh Rangers amateur club in 1986 and was a member of the all-conquering team that dominated rugby league in the late-Eighties and early Nineties.He joined the newly-formed Auckland Warriors in 1995 but returned to Wigan three years later and in 2000 had the honour of scoring the first try at the JJB Stadium.Betts, who won 30 caps with Great Britain, was awarded a testimonial in 2001 but was persuaded to hang up his boots at the age of 32 in order to help Wigan get under the salary cap.After cutting his coaching teeth with the club's academy team, he quickly found himself propelled into the hot seat when Mike Gregory was taken ill after the Challenge Cup final of 2004.An horrific run of injury, compounded by the loss of hugely-influential skipper Andy Farrell, exposed the inexperience of both Wigan's back-up players and their rookie head coach and he was pushed to one side in May when Millward was appointed.Betts was made Millward's assistant and given a new two-and-a-half-year contract but could now be lost to the game.He has recently been linked with a move into rugby union with Gloucester, who are thought to be looking for a defensive coach.- - - - -Thanks to for this report.

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